Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch is the second largest gas storage facility of its kind in the United States. As of October 2015, the storage facility has been emitting natural gas, an invisible gas consisting largely of methane, into the Porter Ranch community sickening residents and forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. Since then, Los Angeles Daily News reports the LAUSD board had to temporarily move Porter Ranch Community School and Castlebay Lane Charter School students to alternate locations.
On January 6, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency in response to the “prolonged and continuing” nature of the leak, reports Times Live. As a result of this prolonged leak, Porter Ranch now accounts for 25 percent of the methane emitted in California each day.
Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Side effects of methane include nausea, headaches, dizziness, severe nosebleeds and unconsciousness. Additionally, in one of several lawsuits filed against Southern California Gas Company, the air quality agency had received more than 2,000 odor complaints from those living and working near the Aliso Canyon facility.
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